Madrid is one of those cities that I wish someone dragged me to earlier. With 5 million people living there, you immediately get some big-city feel upon arrival. However, unlike Barcelona, Madrid has a somehow very different atmosphere. For one, The people are friendlier and easier to connect with and also generally more stylish.
For each city there’s a city map available that you can simply add to your Google maps and easily find your way around. Here’s the full map
Arriving in Madrid is pretty easy, especially within the EU – no additional passport controls, unlike some other EU countries who have recently re-introduced them. The easiest to get into town is via a taxi or an Uber. Like many other cities, there’s a taxi-queue at the airport, but you can easily find your Uber as the arrivals collection section is pretty small.
The city is easy to walk – which is obviously the preferred method to immerse yourself into neighbourhoods. Having said that, the city is quite spread-out, so if you need to get somewhere a little further out for lunch or sights, Uber or public transport are both good, and inexpensive options. Madrid also has city bikes
Like most southern European places, prepare to have lunch early (12 – 14), as restaurants close early afternoon. Dinner is also normally had late – 9 is a good time if you can’t wait for later, but 10 can be nice if you’re planning a night out in town.
This is a food experience. Book if you like, but half the restaurant is unreserved seating. Expect to queue, but expect amazing food, prepared and served almost as if they’re slick butchers performing in a theatre piece.
This has to be one of the most expansive design shops, not only in Madrid but by international standards. Expect to see all the famous designers represented, but also find some selections of local and found art and design pieces. Also a great spot for after you fell in love with Madrid and bought a place – when you need furniture.
The Madrid hotel scene is undergoing a revolution. With the new Four Seasons being built, the entire city-center is being overhauled. There are plenty of great hotels in the city, however, because of the massive construction taking place all over, be sure to enquire with the hotel whether they have any nearby work that might ruin your heels when stepping out outside.
This has to be one of my personal favourite hotels. The whole place is considered, where the quiet moments are given as much consideration as the simple light switches and deft design touches. For a romantic weekend away, book one of the corner junior suites and feel like you’re stepping right into a film. Situated in the upmarket neighbourhood of Salamanca.
This new addition to the Madrid hotel scene is a great contemporary design take with a strong art & photography focus in the group. The rooms are spacious, with great linen, calm yet colourful interiors and pretty quiet. Be sure to also try the café, Olivia te Cuida even if you just happen to be in the area.